I’ve never thought about traveling to Paris before this trip; I always thought of going to places that are not as attractive to tourists, places with lesser known reputations. However, the opportunity to travel around Paris came around and I couldn’t say no.
The purpose of the trip was to explore World War I battle sites, which is what grabbed my attention, but I was also able to explore different parts of the city. I went with a small group of students from my college and a professor of mine. Traveling with this group really enhanced my experience, as we all were very open to embracing the culture and lifestyle.
One aspect about France that left me absolutely speechless was the architecture; The buildings were so beautiful I was content to sit on a bench and just stare at it.
Even the shops and apartment complexes were eye-catching. Adding to the beauty of these buildings is the history behind them. Being from America it is easy to forget what is old for us, isn’t that old for other parts of the world. Some of the buildings we saw were built in the 12th century, that’s incredible(for someone who isn’t from Europe)!
Speaking of history, what better way to soak in the information than being physically present on the battlefields? We visited two WWI sites, and the Armistice museum last minute. All three were very eye-opening. Being on the those grounds, where so many lost their lives, it gave me goosebumps. Even after all this time, the trenches and craters were still so deep. It is impossible to imagine what those soldiers went through, but it is definitely not impossible to appreciate the horror they experienced.
The massive size of this one crater left me standing still, speechless. Soldiers would dig under the positions of their enemies and blow them to kingdom come, and it was just another day in the life. This particular site was only just recently converted into a tourist spot. Only a few years ago would kids ride their bikes through the crater, and parents would let them play among the fields. Our tour guide herself found it strange to showing people around the very same spot she would run around in with her friends growing up. “The blast could be heard all the way in London.” Now, she is walking people around the fenced off area, littered with signs warning wanderers from entering.
I don’t wish to include all my pictures and stories, I would be here all day and no one wants to read that much. I’ll just leave off with a statement of how beautiful France is, it was a truly exhilarating experience. I took so much away from this trip, and really miss walking the maze of narrow streets